As the nation prepares for the 2023 presidential election, Jake Epelle, the CEO and Founder of The Albino Foundation, a non-governmental organization, has tasked Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to get more involved in the process of electioneering.
Making this call at a voter education campaign held in Lagos with the support of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria, tagged, “Able 2 Vote (South-West)”, Mr. Epelle who applauded the improvement in PWDs participation in politics said there was need for an increase in the involvement of PWDs in electioneering process.
Mr. Epelle stated that although it has been reported that 16% of PWDs actively participate in political and electioneering activities, he urged greater political participation.
“The day has come and that day is now that all of us will rise up, take the bull by the horn and make the most of political participation of persons with disabilities.
“I charge you and I challenge you today. If this country is looking for a President, Governor, or member of the House of Representatives, look no further because you’re the one.
“We have a wonderful opportunity before us. This is the fact that for the first time in the history of the electoral process in this country that persons with disabilities will constitute an adequate percentage of the entire electorate.
“There has never been any time better than now that this community is coming together. We are not just ready to vote, we are ready to be voted for,” he said.
Ndifreke Ferdinand, the program manager for The Albino Foundation, also spoke during the panel and stressed the importance of addressing voter identity challenges and opportunities to improve the participation of people with physical disabilities in the upcoming general elections.
At the event, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos said the commission was prepared to ensure that PWDs are not disenfranchised at the general election in 2023.